Laurentian Bank of Canada announced plans to merge fifty branches to optimise operational efficiency, which will lead to the loss of about 300 jobs.

The branches will be merged over the next eighteen months, with the job cuts achieved mainly through natural attrition, the bank said.

Laurentian Bank of Canada president and CEO Francois Desjardins said: "We want to be recognized for the expertise of our advisors and our account managers, for the ease of doing business with us as well as having a simplified product range complemented by automated transaction services."

At the same time, the bank is also set to modernise its core banking system and offer new mobile solutions.

In August, the bank announced that all its corporate offices in Montreal will locate at one site to reap substantial savings. Moreover, it recently also agreed to purchase the Canadian equipment financing and corporate financing operations of CIT Canada.

"We are confident in achieving our ambitious financial and growth targets while creating a more efficient and profitable bank for the benefit of our employees, customers and shareholders", Desjardins said.